Ford will invest $500 million in Tesla rival Rivian, joining Amazon and going head-to-head with GM

Rivian Ford

Ford

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and Ford Chairman Bill Ford.


On Wednesday, Ford announced a $500-million investment in the startup electric-vehicle maker Rivian.

In a statement, Ford and Rivian said they had "agreed to work together to develop an all-new, next-generation battery electric vehicle for Ford's growing EV portfolio using Rivian's ... platform."

Neither company indicated whether that would be a pickup. Ford's F-150 pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the US for decades and the carmaker has said that it intends to electrify the truck.

Earlier this year, Rivian announced a $700 million investment led by Amazon. In short order, Rivian, founded in 2009, has become Tesla's chief rival in the burgeoning electric-pickup market and has attracted the enthusiastic attention of the traditional Detroit auto industry.

Ford and Rivian described the investment as a "strategic partnership," and Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe called it "another key milestone in our drive to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility."

Read more: Tesla challenger Rivian just announced a $700 million investment led by Amazon

Rivian R1S

Mike Blake/Reuters

Scaringe reveals Rivian's lineup.

Ford Chairman Bill Ford said that he had "gotten to know and respect RJ, and we share a common goal to create a sustainable future for our industry through innovation."

In joining with Rivian, Ford might have beaten out crosstown rival General Motors. Prior to the Amazon-led investment, GM was reportedly in discussions with Rivian about a collaboration.

Rivian is currently developing a pair of vehicles, an all-electric pickup and an SUV. The company has vaunted from relative obscurity in the past six months to being a darling of the auto industry and a bit of an anti-Tesla. Rivian revealed its lineup amid much hoopla at the 2018 LA auto show last year, and at the recent New York auto show its booth was routinely mobbed with interested members of the media and the car business.

With the Amazon and Ford deals, Rivian has demonstrated that it intends to operate as a junior original equipment manufacture (OEM), tightening it relationships with Detroit rather than defining itself against the old guard.

Get the latest Ford stock price here.

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